Saturday, July 12, 2014
Given this objectively convoluted idea, the subject of apology became quite interesting, so I pondered it at some length.
It turns out that the word originally meant, taken from its Latin root, to make a speech in one's own defense. Of course, it usually doesn't mean that anymore; words undergo change in meaning, just as objects, events, circumstances, and conditions do. Meaning constantly changes in relationship to that which takes place. The most horrible things may not mean what we think they do.
In this context, I often examine the most insulting and personally injurious things that are done to me. They are baffling; they are often motivated, it seems to me, by pure selfishness or sheer mean-spirited action; and yet there they are. In each instance, I try to see how I am and who I am, and what my reactions are, in the midst of these upsetting events. My ordinary parts are affected by such things; why deny it? And when I think about it carefully, I see that I do things like this as well; no one is free from selfishness, and no one is free from being mean-spirited from time to time. It is my examination of these selfsame sins that truly becomes interesting, because I am outraged when I see them in other people; yet I invariably engage in self justification when I see them in myself. Such a contradiction!
It's these circumstances that lead me to the moments of real feeling, where real apology is necessary; and the only real apology that is necessary in spiritual life is apology to God for my own fallen state. One dispenses secular apologies to other individuals in life according to circumstance and necessity; and when feeling enters that, it's a good thing. But in the end, all real apology is religious, and belongs to God—and it is the entire state of my own sinfulness that I have to take responsibility for: not anyone else's.
Interestingly enough, the higher never demands apology; because God emanates nothing but Love and is in fact Love itself, forgiveness and Mercy are dispensed in advance of any apology. That fact alone is what helps to create humility; when one is forgiven in advance for one sin, as God always does with us, one is forced to consider how limited and circumstantial one's own love is: that is, one isn't actually loving.
I always get tangled up in my states of conflict with others; and in doing so, I'm taken away from the settled state of inwardness that comes into relationship with something more real. Each time, my organic state of being is, to one extent or another, forgotten; and although the thread can always be kept alive, a thread is a good deal less than a whole piece of cloth.
In the meantime, taking a cue from God, who in His infinite Mercy forgives everyone for everything in advance, I hereby sincerely apologize in advance for everything I ever do or write about, or expose my readership to. The apology is primarily intended to God, to whom I ultimately owe all apology, but once again, emulating His infinite generosity (which I fall woefully and infinitely short of) I offer it to everyone else, too.
In doing so, I visualize this particular apology as a very large, rich stick of butter, radiantly yellow (I'd never thought of this before, but that's a lovely color for an apology, isn't it?), quite soft, which can be spread over innumerable pieces of toast without losing its ability to impart flavor. At least, I hope so.
I make this buttery apology universal because everything is, in one way or another, flawed, and anyone who reads anything I write is, unfortunately, irradiated by the inherent flaws in it. The noblest course would be to stop writing, or, better yet, commit suicide, so as to remove my flawed Being from this universe; but alas! I am too weak and egoistic— more flaws.
Those who wish to apply this apology retroactively are welcome to do so.